Fujiwara no Takafusa (藤原隆房)

FUJIWARA no Takafusa (1148 - 1209) was a kugyo (high-ranking court official) who lived from the end of the Heian period to the early years of the Kamakura period. He was a descendent of the Zenshoji line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan, and the eldest son of FUJIWARA no Takasue, Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state). His mother was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Tadataka, who served as Okura-kyo (Minister of the Treasury). He rose to the rank of Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and served as Gon Dainagon. He was also known as Takafusa SHIJO or Takafusa REIZEI. His lawful wife was a daughter of TAIRA no Kiyomori. His concubine was a daughter of Mitsumasa HAMURO. His children were Takahira SHIJO and Ryuben.

In 1158 he was conferred a peerage, Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). Afterward, he experienced various posts such as kokushi (provincial governors) of Kaga Province and Inaba Province, Sayu no chujo (middle captains of the left and right palace guards), and Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain), and was promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in 1184. In 1189 he was appointed as Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state), and was promoted to Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) Shonii (Senior Second Rank) in 1199, and reached Gon Dainagon in 1204. In 1206 he retired and became a priest (his Buddhist name, Jakue).

Because his legal wife was a daughter of TAIRA no Kiyomori, he was close to the Taira clan, and was said to patronize Kenreimonin even after the decline of the Taira clan. On the other hand, he was famous as a favorite retainer of the Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa, and maintained strong political influence in spite of the downfall of the Taira family.

He not only knew very well how to survive in the political world but was also recognized as an excellent poet; his poems were selected for "Senzaishu" (Collection of a Thousand Years) and recently he is mentioned as a possible writer of "Roei hyakushu" (literally, one hundred of poems for recitation). His diary was called "Angen onga no nikki" (the record of the ceremony celebrating Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa's 50th birthday) and his love story with Kogo in "Heike monogatari" (The Tale of the Heike) was well known.

His offspring prospered as one of the Urin families, the Shijo family, which exists even now.

[Original Japanese]